Brumbies produced 'Test match intensity' in win over Blues
REACTION: Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White said the Brumbies gave “absolutely everything” to pull off an upset of New Zealand powerhouse Blues on Sunday in a game played at “Test match intensity”.
The Brumbies clung on to win 25-20, with all the points coming in the first half, in a repeat of last season’s Super Rugby semifinal that the Blues edged 20-19.
The win capped the competition’s “super round” – which featured all 12 teams playing in Melbourne across three days – and reinforced the Canberra-based team’s credentials as one of the tournament’s most dangerous sides.
They are now two-wins-from-two this season, with the victory all the more impressive given the Blues were coming off a 60-20 thumping of the Highlanders last weekend.
“So many points in that first half – it was just Test match intensity,” White told reporters.
“Honestly, every breakdown, every carry, every tackle was just absolutely everyone giving everything.”
White insisted they had not been thinking about the heartbreaking semifinal defeat last year, which he said boded well moving forward.
“We weren’t really thinking about that, and that’s a good sign for us because we’re just concentrating on the next job in that next moment,” he said.
Lachlan Lonergan and Andy Muirhead crossed for the Brumbies, who also got a penalty try that left Blues prop James Lay in the sin bin.
Ricki Riccitelli and Tom Robinson dotted down for the Auckland side.
The only drawback for the Brumbies was skipper and Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa leaving the field inside the first 10 minutes with a head knock and not returning.
Blues captain Dalton Papalii agreed that the gripping match was Test match level.
“We [created] a rivalry over the last year and even coming into this year, we knew this was going to be a big match,” he said.
“We knew we were going to come in and get a Test-match footy calibre game. I think it was out there and it goes to show that it was a grudge match till the end.”
In Sunday’s other game, the Queensland Reds crushed Western Force 71-20, running in 10 tries to three with Josh Flook and Filipo Daugunu both bagging two each.
With Wallabies coach Eddie Jones in the stands, Test playmaker James O’Connor impressed in his first outing of the season.
It was the Reds’ highest score in Super Rugby as Brad Thorn’s side put their disappointing round one defeat to the Wellington Hurricanes behind them.